AKO Fratmen Lose Press Box To Possible Arson

A bittersweet day for AKO Fratmen Football.

Not long before their 80-0 rout over the Niagara Regional Raiders on Saturday, the team learned a building at their practice field had allegedly been torched by vandals overnight Friday.

The team built a press box for the athletic field at E.J. Lajeunesse Secondary School off E.C. Row Expressway W. near Dougal Ave. last year.

Team President Mike Morencie says the building and surrounding property had been targeted all week before it burned down some time after 10pm.

"Tuesday at practice there was a couple windows broken, after Wednesday's practice, on Thursday things were banged up again, and it happened again on Friday," says Morencie. "Facetiously we said, 'all they have to do next is burn the place down.'"

The organization paid close to $9,000 to construct the press box a year ago. It was also used by the high school.

He told AM800 News it's a senseless act that burned the building right down to the floor joists.

Morencie says some retired construction workers donated their skills to build the press box, the organization only paid for the materials.

"House builders and construction guys helped us out, a group of old retired guys, they worked their rear-ends off last summer to put it together for us," he says. "We feel terrible, they came out this morning to see it and they were grief stricken. It was a lot of work, they put a ton of hours in and it was a great structure."

With the school using the box too, it makes the loss of the building even harder to swallow, according to Morencie.

"People here at  Lajeunesse have been really supportive of all us over the last two years, they've been a tremendous help," he says. "We feel awful, as much help as they gave us, for this to happen I feel bad for them as well because it was a nice high school facility for them."

Morencie says the team can't salvage anything from the building, he's uncertain when, or if, it will be rebuilt.

Windsor police say they are investigating the incident, but can't confirm it was arson at this time.